The Medicine of Music, Plants, Nursing, Writing, and Translation: Goddard Students’ Workshops at the Fall 2017 Residency

Call and Response – Finding the Music Inside Us, with IMA returning student, Tim Simmons. From our very beginnings, music has been part of what define us as humans. We sing and dance to express our joy and our sadness. Music moves us, both physically and emotionally. Music empowers us to be heard in our most vibrant and essential selves, and our most vulnerable. Bursting forth from silence, music expresses what we can’t say in words.

“Comfort Quest”- Exploring Pain through a Positive Lens, with HAS returning student Lisa Evers. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” –Socrates. Attempting to numb our pain is not yielding the desired results in society today- pain continues, addiction rages, and people are dying! I feel that our current Pain Scale may be fueling the opioid crisis because we treat pain as the enemy and try to silence it. Returning from the EDGE of this philosophy, I am offering a new Vision- “Comfort Quest” where energy will be focused on understanding pain’s messages and empowering the body to heal. Join me and experience this process “hands on”. We will begin with a brief survey (voluntary participation), move to an educational component, and finally work through our own discomfort in a more creative & positive fashion- exploring body, mind and spirit causes and remedies. Pain is intense and complex; yet there is so much more to flourishing as human beings beyond simply not feeling pain. Let’s change our perspective, empower our body/minds and embrace comfort as we release our hidden blocks to vitality.

Embodied Plant Medicine, with returning HAS student, Stefania Patinella. Healers and medicine people across history and culture have used direct, embodied communication with plants to tap into the powerful medicine they hold for the human body, mind and spirit. In this workshop, we will practice such direct knowing by tasting an extraction of a medicinal herb and using our senses, intuition, heart and imagination to listen to and learn something about it. The plant will be unknown to you so you can approach it without preconceived ideas. We will then share our individual experiences as a group, and begin to weave a collective story about this plant’s medicine. Finally, I will reveal the name of the herb and talk about its materia medica–its history of use, medicinal qualities, origin, botany and folklore–so we can tie our personal experiences into the plant’s wider tradition.

Shomriel Sherman with fellow study Tracy Murphy

Letters to the Young Ones, with IMA-TLA returning student Shomriel Sherman. This workshop will be an invitation for us to gather together in fierce love and honor for the children within and among us. We will use this time to write about issues that are weighing heavily on our hearts, framing our writing as if to a child, whether this be an actual child or our younger self. This writing can take different forms, including but not limited to letters, poems, fairy tales or fables, and two-way conversations. The important thing is that we will not be attempting to intellectually address large and complex problems but instead to access a deeper wisdom, feeling into the fear, grief, and joy that surround and enliven our experiences and relationships.

Navigating Edges and Voids: Translation as Transformation, with IMA returning student Ray Saxon. Translation isn’t necessarily the literal translation of one language into another. Translation can be a more abstract process of communication, transformation, and acknowledgement that something is lost as well as gained. This workshop will explore this wider concept of translation as the communication of perception, and the navigation of edges and voids in understanding. Translation represents a dialogue between theory and practice, so we’ll begin by discussing how topics in translation theory apply to our wider definition of translation, and then explore these theories in practice by working through a series of interactive prompts. This will be an opportunity to examine what we think we know, why we think we know it, and how translation can transform not just the ideas we’re trying to communicate, but our own understanding of them.

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Comfort Quest by HAS Student Lisa Evers

A current Health Arts and Sciences Student, Lisa Evers, RN, just had an article on her MA study and some of her life’s biggest legacy work published in the American Holistic Nurses Association journal. Evers’ article, “Comfort Quest: Nursing Pain Through a Positive Lens,” calls for replacing the current pain scale with a “Comfort Quest” scale to help patients explore pain and discomfort through a positive lens.

Evers has over 30 years of nursing experience, including in Emergency Nursing and Addiction Medicine, plus she served in the U.S. Coast Guard reserve for 32 years. Her MA study makes a strong case for a new vision of nursing.

Read the whole article here.

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Embodied Knowing: The Body is the Revolution on the Magical Mystery Tour

Lise Weil

Goddard faculty members Lise Weil, Sarah Van Hoy, and Lori Wynters, who helped design and launch the new concentration in Embodiment Studies, recently talk about embodied ways of knowing of WDGR’s Magical Mystery Tour.

Sarah Van Hoy and another embodied friend

Listen to the “Embodied Knowledge: The Body is the Revolution” insightful interview here to learn more about Embodiment Studies in the Goddard Graduate Institute’s programs and in the experiences of faculty and students.

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The Power of Words In Action with Transformative Language Arts

The Power of Words is in the air — it’s the focus of the 14th annual Power of Words conference to be held Aug. 18-20 at Ferry Beach in Saco, Maine, as well as the focus of a podcast with GGI faculty member and TLA founder Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg.

The Power of Words conference, which started as a project of Goddard College before moving on to be part of the non-profit Transformative Language Arts Network, features writers, storytellers, musicians, spoken word artists, activists, community leaders, educators, and health professionals investigating and celebrating how writing, storytelling and other word arts can catalyze social change, build community, and lead to greater healing and meaning. This year’s conference, which Goddard College is an underwriting for, features Joseph Bruchac, who over for 30 years has been creating poetry, short stories, novels, anthologies, and music that reflect his Abenaki Indian heritage and Native American traditions. Other keynoters include singer-songwriter Kelley Hunt, True Story Theater, writer and educator Mahogany L. Browne, and educator Susan Bennett Armistead. A bunch of Goddard alumni and students will be presenting at and attending the conference, including Emilee Baum, chair of the TLA Network; Seema Reza, conference chair; Joanna Tebbs Young, Kristen Ferrell, Shomriel Sherman, Jennye Patterson, and others. Goddard students, faculty, and staff receive a 10% discount on the conference — contact Teri Grunthaner at the TLA Network at for details.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, who helped found the TLA Network and started the Power of Words conference in 2003, will be presenting a workshop at the conference, “Writing the Tree of Life: Midrash to Re-Vision Our Lives,” recently did a 30-minute interview with Teri Grunthaner, executive director of the TLA Network, on what TLA is, how it developed and grew, and what some of the promise and challenges are for the future. Listen to the interview here or click below.

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The Social Life of Natural Foods with Diasie Sammy-Christopher

Diasie Sammy-Christopher, a Health Arts and Sciences student, explains the ways we can come to understand food and “what extend we are manipulated by external sources.” Here’s her comments on engaging in the social life of natural foods. These videos are part of a series done by videographer Alexander Love. Learn more about his work here.

Diasie Sammy-Christopher – The Social Life of Natural Foods from Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg on Vimeo.

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Karen Campbell Reflection and Dialogue: A Process Central to Real Learning

Karen Campbell, a faculty member in GGI, explains the role of continual reflection and dialogue. These videos are part of a series done by videographer Alexander Love. Learn more about his work here.

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Encouraging Students Visionary Potential with Sarah Van Hoy

One of the most important focuses for faculty, explains faculty Sarah Van Hoy, is encouraging students’ visionary potential. These videos are part of a series done by videographer Alexander Love. Learn more about his work here.

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